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What’s at Stake

Moving Beyond Social Media Awareness

April 9, 2013 | By | One Comment

I love the idea. There is injustice in the world. People need to know about this. But then what?

kony-2012Remember Kony 2012? Last I checked, the YouTube video had close to 100 million views. I remember every day logging into my Facebook and someone else had posted something about how we need to stop this guy, how big of an injustice it is, etc. Great! I agree. But it is 2013. Kony is still at large kidnapping children and enlisting them into his army, and the US has more or less forgotten about it. Remember Darfur? How about Haiti? Guess what, these areas are still either war ravaged or poverty stricken. But, we sure were aware that they were in need for a while.

Getting young people, who are notoriously reluctant to engage, to pay attention to something not pop-culture based, is quite a feat. Getting them to put aside their micro-attention spans and keep paying attention past the next “viral” thing is an even bigger challenge. Getting them out from behind their “devices” and actually taking action (as opposed to checking out YouTube) has proven next to impossible.

end-it-movementOver the past few months (coming out of Passion 2013), my Facebook has seen a few days where the End It movement has taken up a few spots on my feed. Love the idea. There is injustice in the world taking place. 27 million people are slaves today through the use of child labor, sex trafficking, bondage, and work without wages through coercion. Something must be done. But what? My worry is that awareness, particularly social media trending awareness, has done very little in the past when it comes to young people here in America.

We are a culture who feels like we are doing something by clicking “share.” A culture who feels like success is measured by YouTube views and website hits. Even as I write this, the success of this blog will be ‘how many people who read this?’ We have got to move beyond awareness.

Jesus didn’t call his disciples to handle brokenness from afar. “Peter, make sure people know that there is brokenness, and have other people get involved in fixing it.” Jesus told his followers to show the Kingdom in their actions, not just point out everywhere the Kingdom is not.

How about this? Have a banquet (Luke 14). Invite all the poor and broken people. Sit down and have a meal with them. Love them, get to know them. Maybe lost and forgotten girls in this world will know they are neither lost nor forgotten.

How about this? Make disciples, teaching them to obey all that I’ve commanded (Matthew 28). Show the kingdom to them, tell them about it. Maybe broken and sinful men will have the power to overcome sin because of their faith in Christ. He is the only hope for transformation and conquering sin.

How about this? Go to all nations. Be my witnesses to the ends of the earth. Lose your life, sacrifice everything, and you might find life. How will they ever believe if they haven’t heard? How will we expect life change (with leads to culture change) without the Spirit changing lives?

Do something. Jesus never said ‘donate now.’ Jesus never said ‘just raise awareness.’ Jesus said go.

Why the City Needs the Gospel

November 4, 2010 | By | No Comments

Over at the ReSurgence, Jonathan Dodson wrote a great article about why reaching the city (as opposed to the suburbs and rural areas) matters!

I encourage you to go ahead and read it, but love this last paragraph in relation to Resonate:

We either give life to cities or we take life from cities. What kind of life are you giving to the city? Are you giving or taking, consuming or renewing, using or strengthening the city? To love a city we have to love more than its stuff, its entertainment, its dining, and its landscape. We have to love its people. To renew a city we must love its souls. We should renew the city because it is a growing, socially dense, and diverse community of people—eternal souls.

Stats on Orphans

October 15, 2010 | By | No Comments

Dave Gibbons spoke recently at the Together 4 Adoption conference (a truly amazing organization).

He offered some pretty eye-opening stats in regards to orphans. Here are just a few:

-Over one fifth of foster children will become homeless at some time after age 18.
-Approximately one third of foster children will receive some form of public assistance shortly after aging out of the system.
-Over a third of foster youth earn neither a high school diploma nor a GED.
-118,000 of the children currently in foster care are waiting to be adopted.

You can find the rest here.

Amongst the Most Dangerous

October 8, 2010 | By | One Comment

It was only slightly surprising that Atlanta had four neighborhood’s listed amongst the 25 most dangerous in America. Here’s the deal, they are all in the downtown area, including the zip code I live in!

We can be a light in the darkness until we are actually in these areas. That’s why I love folks like Leonce Crump, Paul Palmer, Sean King, Kris McDaniel, Scott Armstrong, and many others who have a passion to transform the city… from within, being directly connected to the downtown areas.

4 Atlanta neighborhoods among nation’s most dangerous

Within these neighborhoods, the average household with a single mother is close to about 75%. That leaves children who are often fatherless, and a single mom who often works, which leaves for little extra educational and emotional attention. They do all they can. So, how do we decrease crime in these areas? First off, infuse the gospel into these areas, without which no heart transformation can happen. Secondly, offer ways for kids to be educated and loved, giving them a better alternative than the enticing lure of gangs and drug dealers. After school tutoring will only bolster kids opportunities to get a decent education, which statistics will easily lead to less poverty and crime.

So what is Resonate going to do about it? First, we’re not going to do it alone. We know we need to partner together with other Gospel focused, Kingdom minded churches to make this happen. Secondly, well… we need YOU to help make it all happen. Ready to change the world? Come join us…